10 Necessary Skills of a Transcriptionist

May 3, 2018

10 Necessary Skills of a Transcriptionist

Working as a transcriptionist may classify as a menial job, but general transcription actually takes as much hard work and dedication as other jobs do. Yes, anyone can learn how to transcribe to be a freelancer but can everyone actually do a great job at it? Here are the necessary skills of an effective transcriptionist:

  • Attentive listening

A pair of good ears is stringent to transcription work. Even in transcribing general topics, you are required to have an accurate understanding of dialogues despite some audio challenges like background noise, crosstalk, and soft voices. In severe cases, an audio transcriptionist should be able to make intelligent “sounds like” guesses for barely decipherable parts of the audio. A good remedy to this is the use of TranscriptionWing’s nifty feature called ListenLink where an unintelligible part of your transcript is embedded with a link to its corresponding audio segment.

  • Sharp memory

Together with attentive listening, having a sharp memory helps in general transcriptions big time. Instead of frequently pausing the audio to type, having a sharp memory helps a transcriptionist type longer dialogues, catching every word without the need of frequent pauses and replays.

  • Fast typing speed and high accuracy

An average person types at 40-45 words per minute, but a good typing speed of a transcriptionist is at 60-80 words per minute with very minimal errors. On the other hand, a professional audio transcriber can type as fast as an impressive 100 words per minute.

  • Grammar, punctuations, and spelling proficiency

Although some transcription requests are verbatim-specific, some clients still prefer non-verbatim or clean, easy-to-read transcripts. A transcriptionist should have high grammar, punctuations, and spelling proficiencies to provide tidied transcripts without compromising the meaning and original thought of the dialogues. Although there are digital tools that identify and correct mistakes like these in a breeze, it is still important for them to have a good knowledge foundation to prevent basic yet mortifying mistakes.

  • Research skills

An outstanding research skill is a must-have for transcriptionists. Files on diverse topics are assigned to them every day. Having a great research skill is a big help for catching words or terminologies they’re unfamiliar with, as well as for researching crucial information and proper nouns like names, acronyms, companies, establishments, or brands in general.

  • Keen attention to detail

A good transcriptionist is a keen listener and punctilious to small details that smart and pure verbatim transcriptions require to be transferred in print. For instance, the speaker said “like” five times, the audio transcriber should type exactly that - “...like - like - like - like - like…” - in the transcript. Utterances such as hmm, uhm, and uh-huh also perceives different notations imperative to market researchers. Laughter and pauses are also detailed in transcripts. Small details like these contribute to the meaning conveyed by the speakers in the audio, which is why transcriptionists should be particular with these as requested by the client.

  • Focus and determination

To be a qualified transcriptionist, one must be focused and determined to getting the job done competently. A 1-hour file takes an average of 6 hours to transcribe. It’s not a child’s play. A transcriptionist should be able to neglect unnecessary distractions and concentrate in long periods of time whilst transcribing to ensure complete accuracy and timeliness of work. 

  • Diligence and strong goal orientation

Transcriptionists should be diligent and self-motivated towards reaching the team’s goal, which is providing top notch transcripts on time. Therefore, they should be passionate and meticulous on following the company’s standard of quality. Ultimately, diligence and strong goal orientation along with focus and determination boosts the perks and benefits you get as a transcriptionist when the company you work for realizes your dedication.

  • Adaptive

We offer general transcription services across a multitude of fields, so it is a must that our transcriptionists are all fast-learners - comprehends different topics in short periods of time for them to turn in sensible, superior quality transcripts.

  • Technology proficient

A person does not need to have advanced computer skills to become a transcriptionist. Basic skills like knowing to how maximize the use of Microsoft Word for proper transcription formats and also Google search proficiency is enough, but the openness and willingness to learn how to utilize the required transcription software is a must.

Here at TranscriptionWing, our pool is composed of carefully handpicked general transcriptionists making sure that the quality of our transcripts remains second to none. Be it in-depth interviews, focus groups, podcasts, seminars, conference calls, or even video captioning - our transcription team’s expertise will surely provide accurate transcripts specific to your needs.

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